While the same basic conversion funnel can be applied to virtually any business or sales process, the reality is that some products require far more education on the path from awareness to action. Do you know how to properly handle this element of the process?
Educating your customers is always a good idea. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling a deck of cards or a lawn mower, education paves the way for a more informed purchase decision, greater satisfaction, and increased trust/brand loyalty.
And while education is a nice-to-have in every industry, it’s a must-have in certain niches. This includes companies that are selling innovative, unique, sensitive, or proprietary products that the marketplace is unfamiliar with.
If your products fall into one of these latter buckets, you have no choice but to educate. The issue then becomes, how?
5 Tips for Proper Customer Education
Proper customer education can take on many shapes and forms. How you choose to educate will depend on the industry you’re in, the products you’re selling, your brand’s identity, and the general sentiment of your customers. But here are a few big-picture suggestions and tips to get you moving in the right direction:
Know Your Audience
“If you’re planning to leverage customer education for its many benefits, start by understanding who you’re educating,” Nikos Andriotis writes for TalentLMS. “Knowing your audience is the first step to designing customer education that genuinely adds value to their user experience.”
Never assume that your customers have an intuitive understanding of something. You’re so close to your products and services that it’s easy to make the assumption that everyone else is just as familiar with what you’re selling. By studying and listening to your audience, you can figure out where their knowledge blind spots are.
Know Your Product
This should go without saying, but it’s worth mentioning. If you’re going to educate your customers, you need to be intimately familiar with your products, the problems they solve, and what sets your products apart from the competition. The more confident you are in your space, the better (and more believable) your educational efforts will be.
Produce Targeted Content
Okay, so now that you understand your audience and your product, how do you connect your audience to your product? It’s simple: content.
Targeted content disseminated in the proper places will allow you to educate, inform, and ultimately convert prospects into customers. What does that look like?
Check out this page from Las Vegas ReLeaf. They’re a dispensary that sells medical marijuana and a variety of related products. And while some of their customers are well-versed in the world of marijuana, many are coming in cold. They use blog posts and guides as a way to explain benefits, applications, and other key points of interest. As a result, they’ve become recognized as one of the foremost leaders in this growing space.
Good content formats include blog posts, ebooks, case studies, tutorials, videos, manuals, and product demonstrations.
Enhance Your Communication Strategy
It’s nice to have content, but it’s worthless without clicks and eyeballs. So if you’re going to invest in content creation, make sure you’re just as willing to invest in revamping your communication strategy. Email and social media are two solid cornerstones. If you’re doing a lot of blogging and website content, SEO is also something to look into. By making noise in the right places, you can ensure all of your hard work pays off.
Use Your Team as an Asset
If you have employees and team members in your company, start viewing them as the assets that they are.
“Invest some time in talking to your salespeople, vendors, and customer support teams,” Andriotis recommends. “Aim to understand the causes behind frequent customer questions, and where training will be most effective in providing the right answers.”
Likewise, you can leverage your team to help educate your customers. Customer service reps, for example, can help customers while on the phone, or direct them to relevant content when responding to emails.
Adding it All Up
By properly educating your customers, you can take misinformed and/or ignorant customers and turn them into smart, educated individuals who can make intelligent purchase decisions about your products or services. Hopefully this article has provided you with a solid foundation to build upon!